YMCA Liberia on Tuesday October 12, 2014 launched an emergency response project in West Point, Central Monrovia, titled: “Saving Lives and Restoring Livelihood in West point.”
The main goal of the intervention is to prevent the further spread of Ebola and address the impact of the outbreak in the West Point community.
It is also intended to influence communities to respond properly by taking positive actions that will prevent the further spread of the disease.
In attendance were a representative from the Ministry of Health, the Commissioner of West Point Youth groups and other stakeholders in the fight against Ebola and other developmental activities in West Point.
Giving an overview of the project, Liberia YMCA National General Secretary, E. Edward Gboe said the YMCA has been active in West Point under a slum upgrade project which support the construction of latrines and hand pumps and the establishment of saving clubs for livelihoods improvement opportunities of youth and female heads of households.
“This community is underserved as there are lots of conditions that need improvement, government is under obligation to provide safety, security and welfare and the YMCA like any other civil society organizations agreed to work with government so that services to young people and other residents can be improved to save lives and restore livelihoods in the midst of harsh realities of this health crisis.” He said.
Under the Intervention the YMCA will conduct training of peer educators to support outreach activities and set up emergency communication centers to provide relevant information required to promote awareness on the prevention and spread of Ebola.
He also said that a food for work scheme will be carried out, while also providing livelihood support and through the provision of food aid to selected vulnerable people and small business recovery through support to 175 women and young people affected by the Ebola outbreak- to enable them restart income generation activities.
“There will also be the holding of Town Hall meetings to engage the community on conflict issues as a result of Ebola, and community engagements on issues related to referral and peace and security
The Liberia YMCA will also coordinate with the Ministry of Health and other health sector organizations, for training of health workers on surveillance and reporting, Mr. Gboe said.
Launching the project, The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia YMCA, Mr. Jonathan A. Mason declared the project officially launched. “The Liberia YMCA is not in this township to tell West Pointers what to be done, but rather to work with you in ensuring that ebola is defeated in West Point.” Mr. Mason challenged the people of West Point to seize the opportunity and work with the YMCA in kicking ebola out of their community.
The Commissioner of the Township of West Point, Mrs. Miatta Flowers lauded the Liberia YMCA for being very active in West Point, noting -“The YMCA has a good relationship with local authorities in this township and we praise them for their continuous and impactful work and we also appreciate Comic Relief and Y-Care International for this great support. ”
A representative from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Ministry, Mr. David B, Saizay said residents of West Point need help and thanked the YMCA and partners for the initiative. “One thing about community initiative is when you start, you must continue,” the Assistant Director for Training at the Ministry of Health told the Liberia YMCA.
Mr. Burgess H. Houston, who proxied for District number 7 Representative, Hon. Solomon George called residents of the township and partners not to be relaxed adding, “One person can cause the infection of a large number of people” The District number 7 Coordinator also asked the Liberia YMCA to take similar initiative to other districts.
Also making remarks were representatives from the Slum Development Association of Liberia, (SLUMDAL), Youth groups and other community based organizations.
The program will be implemented over a six (6) month period from October 10, 2014 to March 31, 2015 in West Point only. During this period, 6,064 direct beneficiaries reached. The program is funded by Comic relief through Y-Care International and will be implemented by the Liberia YMCA.
Story: Emmanuel S.King, Jr.